Something different this week: published early, rather than late (my goal is once per week). The last one was something I’d written a while ago, just hadn’t got around to posting, as I’ve been rethinking this whole movie making idea, yet again.
I’ve been getting a lot of ‘push back’ on my Treasure Hunt script in the area of conflict. Middle of last week, after making a number of changes to my screenplay to increase the level, I got some feedback that, essentially, said the script was worthless (not really that harsh, but that was the gist) because it almost entirely lacked conflict. Since this is the exact same feedback I’ve got up to this point on all my scripts, it really caused me to rethink my whole making movies concept. Which bummed me out, as this was the only thing that seems to get me excited about life, the universe, and everything (though I can see some potential in reviving my biotech research, but that interest has lay moribund for lo these many years).
My real concern isn’t that there isn’t enough conflict in TreasHu, but in RedDom, etc. TreasHu has a definite purpose: to act as a learn-by-doing moving making project, to tell me if I really want to pursue directing and, to a lesser degree, serve as reel for trying to convince producers I’m a viable candidate to direct RedDom, etc. While I intend to submit to festivals, it’s more about that learning experience than any real expectation. If a thousand people watch TreasHu, it will have vastly exceeded my expectations. If any of them pay, I will consider that a game-winning home run with bases loaded.
After some long thought, I developed this strategy: polish up RedDom and get some more input on it and, potentially, write BlueDom, a sequel called “The Dominatrix Was Blue”, and get input on that as well. the DoaCK screenplay is probably not a valid piece to use for evaluation, as the underlying novel, while about perfect in achieving my story telling goals, inherently lacks the conflict so near and dear to everyone (else’s) heart. Thus, when all the fat is boiled down (wtf does that even mean?), I’ve really only written one script that I meant to fit in the movie making mold (as I believe I’ve said, I don’t expect to film DoaCK until/unless I become successful enough with other movies that I can afford a vanity project). Now, having said that, I’ve had a number of complaints about a dearth of conflict in RedDom. And, while there are a few places I feel it’s organic to add (and have already done so in most cases), it may still be that I lack the ‘conflict genes’ to write. I’m not sure I want to ‘just’ be a director, and, in any case, that just increases the number of barriers to entry, so, at least for the present, my focus is entirely on writing first, then directing.
If, as I suspect, Jennifer, a script editor I’m sending TreasHu to on Sunday, is going to have little positive to say about TreasHu (note that all the reviewers so far have had favorite passages/events, so it’s not all bad), I think I’m going to delay my decision on moving forward with TreasHu (and any other movie making project) until I’ve got feedback from several other screenplay reviewers on RedDom and possibly BlueDom. If the consensus is I just don’t have what it takes, then I’ll probably put all this to bed and try and find something else to get passionate about (the biotech research, statistically speaking, is probably a vastly better probability of making money than movies, and where, after all, I actually have a competitive advantage). If the consensus seems to be that my story telling abilities have the potential to be successful (in that enough people will pay to make a profit on the budget), then I’ll pursue TreasHu as-is (or, maybe, with some minor tweaks) and let it answer it’s intended questions.
I can’t tell if this is a smart plan or just hiding from the inevitable.